Bookwire GmbH to launch WAY service for audiobook publishing using TTS tech

The Frankfurt-based Bookwire GmbH announced the launch of its new WAY service or ‘We Audiobook You’, Publishing Perspective reported. This essentially allows audiobook publishers to explore advanced synthetic voice options to record audiobooks instead of human voice artists.

It’s very important for us to keep in mind with this technical innovation that human voices and the art of a narrator cannot be surpassed by artificial voices in the foreseeable future. We have great studios, publishers, directors, and voice actors of all genders delivering outstanding word productions,” said David Alfaro Bookwire’s corporate communications manager.

“But for some genres and books, or even budgets, ‘text to speech’ solutions like the one here in our WAY solution can be the way for them to be heard at all. Especially certain nonfiction textbooks for students could be better consumable. The necessary accessibility for nonfiction can also be realized more easily in this way.”

The company however isn’t revealing which vendors they have tied up with for the speech-to-text technology. All that the publishing house said is that they are working with several companies that offer such tech to ensure they are able to roll out its WAY service in every region in the world where it already has a presence.

That said, Bookwire has stated their move to adopt artificial human voices for audiobook publishing does not mean they won’t be dealing with human voice artists. This is particularly applicable for fiction series where human voice artists are perhaps most relevant to add that genuine human touch. Rather, as the company is too keen to highlight, it is the non-fiction segment where text-to-speech can have the most potential.

The text-to-speech can also be effective in bringing many publishers back on track if they are still reeling under what can be said as the aftereffects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This in fact can be the easiest option for such publishers to turn around their backlisted titles. Not only is this going to be the more affordable option compared to human voice artists, but also allows for a quicker turnaround time as well.

Bookwire further added they aren’t just into audiobook publishing as they also look into the marketing aspect as well. That includes bringing the audiobook to the people at large as well as making it available across different outlets so that publishers are able to make the most out of their investments.

“We cannot stress enough that our philosophy at Bookwire is very clear that human voices cannot be replaced in full quality at the moment,” said Alfaro.

“We offer TTS mainly to publishers who want to use it for texts/books that would otherwise not be produced.”

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